Stolen vehicle from Beaufort recovered in Westphalia, driver held on warrants

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Managing Editor
Posted 11/13/19

WESTPHALIA — A vehicle reported stolen from Franklin County was recovered Friday night at Eagle Stop in Westphalia...

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Stolen vehicle from Beaufort recovered in Westphalia, driver held on warrants

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WESTPHALIA — A vehicle reported stolen from Franklin County was recovered Friday night at Eagle Stop in Westphalia, and Bryan L. Mercer, 35, of Vienna, was arrested on suspicion of tampering with a motor vehicle.

Osage County Deputy Chris Wolfe noted in his probable cause statement that he and Sgt. Tim McDonald responded at 8:38 p.m. to Eagle Stop, where Mercer had taken a pizza from the convenience store without paying, and eaten it in the parking lot. That was the second call for service in Westphalia, the first occurring 20 minutes earlier for a stranded motorist.

Deputies had noted the white Chevy truck in the Knights of Columbus parking lot on their way to the store.

An Eagle Shop employee said he would not press charges against the man, adding he felt bad for him since he appeared to be homeless.

During a conversation with Mercer, deputies were first given an identification card bearing the name Desri Robertson. That name was not on file, according to Osage County 911.

After a delay in which Mercer claimed not to remember his Social Security number, he finally gave deputies the correct number, which identified him as Bryan Mercer, who was wanted in Franklin County and Rolla on misdemeanor warrants.

Deputies took Mercer back to his truck at the Knights of Columbus parking lot, but a check of the dealer plates revealed it had been reported stolen. During an interview at the jail, Mercer told deputies he had taken the truck in Beaufort near a convenience store after finding it running. He reportedly drove it until he ran out of gas in Westphalia.

Mercer is being held at the Osage County jail on the outstanding warrants. No Osage County charges have been filed as of press time.

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